This year marks the 25 years since the death of 1986 NBA draft pick Len Bias, who overdosed on cocaine two days after being drafted to the Boston Celtics.
Bias was said to rival the likes of Michael Jordan, and was expected to augment the Celtics dynasty before his untimely death.
The Grio published an Op-ed exploring the often overlooked interrelationship between drugs and sports:
Drugs were a major problem for the NBA — and professional sports in general — and going largely ignored by fans, coaches, scouts and league personnel. Seeing Bias, the NBA’s next big star, succumb to cocaine was more than just a wake-up call. It changed America’s perception of drugs.
When kids saw that if someone like Bias; a marvel athlete; a demigod on the basketball court; the kid with the bright smile and incredibly promising career; could lose his life to drugs, than anyone could. He proved that drugs were serious and very real, and could affect anyone.